Friday, January 25, 2008
Arpaio not welcome in Tucson; letter to GOP club
UPDATE, 1pm: 100+ people showed up today on short notice to protest Arpaio at the Sheraton Hotel on E. Grant Rd. Some were inside the Mitt Romney event where he was speaking, and strongly confronted him face-to-face. Good job, Tucson.
An Open Letter to the Pima County Republican Women’s Club, Joan Richardson
TUCSON -- As members of the Pima County community, we are here today to question your decision to invite Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) to speak at your event in support of Republican Mitt Romney's campaign.
As you should be aware, Arpaio bears much responsibility for the extremely volatile racial atmosphere in Phoenix and its outlying areas. We cannot permit this environment in Pima County, and are shocked that you would proudly applaud the efforts of the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” on your website.
During his tenure, Arpaio has engaged the Arizona taxpayer, and the rest of the state of Arizona, in enforcement and political measures that have not only created great racial divisions, but have cost Maricopa County more than $41 million dollars in court fees, lawsuits, attorneys’ fees, settlements, judgments, photographs of himself, videos of himself, and maintaining his personal public relations staff.
Did you know… Arpaio has arrested hundreds of workers, and together with Andrew Thomas, has charged mothers and fathers, survivors of U.S. and global economic policies with being co-conspirators to their own smuggling, resulting in hundreds of felony convictions and prison time at taxpayer expense?
Did you know… Arpaio has created private posses, where he has permitted Minutemen to join his sheriff deputies in wholesale racial profiling and repression, resulting in an explosive situation in Phoenix neighborhoods?
Did you know… Arpaio has been involved in the violation of the constitutional rights of the readers of the Phoenix New Times by demanding the identity of everyone who had visited the paper’s website and arresting the newspaper’s leaders when they publicized what had happened?
Arpaio is not welcome in Tucson or Pima County, where many of us continue to work for a community that is diverse, respectful, and appreciative of each other’s differences. We will not permit hatred and xenophobia in our communities. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Phoenix and Maricopa County who must stand up for human rights on a daily basis.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Tucson AZ
Lawman Dan Saban (D) is challenging Arpaio in the 2008 election, and appears to be more fair and moderate. "I'm obligated to protect your rights, not use my authority to abuse them," says Saban.